My music education began at age 8 when, after a year of pestering my parents, I got my first guitar. My self-taught forays began casually at first, until I was introduced to the likes of Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton (the Cream years) and then later, Frank Marino, John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, and Allan Holdsworth. By age 15, it was "all about the guitar: eat-sleep-school-guitar," with many countless hours burning the midnight oil, deciphering the solos of my heroes. I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area after high school and began studying guitar under the mentor-ship of virtuoso Marc Bonilla (who has worked with such luminaries as Ronnie Montrose, Derek Sherinian, Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple). Bonilla has since moved to L.A. to pursue an impressive career as a film and T.V. composer, while I stayed on in the Bay Area as full time working guitarist/studio musician/composer/teacher.
My love and passion for teaching guitar is matched only by my love of studio and stage performance as a full time professional musician.
My ability to play many different styles of music has led me to a great diversity of music projects over the years. This versatility has afforded me work with Latin jazz, Caribbean (soca), nouveau flamenco, world-beat, hard rock, and blues bands all over the San Francisco Bay Area for the last 20 years. This also includes a stint with a San Francisco based funk-jazz quartet that performed, among other things, funky and creative renditions of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Herbie Hancock.
In 2005 I released a solo rock album called âLeft Turn on Spanish Highwayâ. The music on this CD is a passionate blend of hard rock instrumental guitar with contemporary flamenco rhythms (think Gipsy Kings meets Joe Satriani). It has received a lot of five star reviews on online stores such as iTunes and CD Baby.
My Jeff Beck-ish electric guitar style has been repeatedly featured in live performances by the world-renowned vertical dance troupe Project Bandaloop in San Francisco, Oregon, and at the Banff Center for the arts in Alberta Canada.
My acoustic guitar performances are heavily featured on the 2004 album "Despi A Alma" by internationally acclaimed fado singer, Ramana Vieira, and subsequently, on her 2009 follow up release, âLagrimas De Rainhaâ.
In the late 90âs, I had the opportunity of challenging my improvisational skills, by performing many seasons with San Francisco's longest running theater improv troupe, Flash Family, where I was called upon to create on-the-spot compositions in real-time, to match the actorâs unscripted and unpredictable story lines.
In the audio/visual world, I've composed music for film and a children's story. I frequently collaborate with local film, theater and T.V. composer Chris Houston (my musical contributions to Houston's compositions can be heard in the movie "Enchantedâ, which in the past has enjoyed wide circulation on Showtime, and also on the soundtrack to the Marin Theater Companyâs 2009 production of âMagic Forrest farmâ, and the San Francisco Playhouseâs production of âOur Lady of 121st street.
Currently, Iâm the lead guitarist for the San Francisco funk-rock originals band, FiveDown, fronted by R and B singer Ishtar Monique. Other music projects include co-writing, recording and producing an upcoming album for the Marin based hard rock band, Urban Fiction. I continue to perform on occasion around the bay area as solo guitarist for corporate events and weddings, and also with Ramana Vieira and ensemble where my Al Di Meola-style approach to acoustic lead guitar playing is sought.
*** Lesson Details ***
Think of me not only as your teacher, but also your dedicated coach, whose purpose and goal it is to help you reach your highest musical aspirations. I am very passionate about teaching guitar. Your success is my success. Iâm also very patient and easy going but will push you gently when you need it, to ensure your continued musical growth and success. I will not only teach you what you want to learn, but also what you need to learn in order to progress. During your first lesson with me, Iâll spend some time finding out what your goals and aspirations are, then develop a lesson plan from there. The lesson plans are used as a guide and also as a way to track and monitor your progress.
You will be taking your lessons with me in my home recording studio, which will make learning a lot more fun, creative and rewarding. Youâll also be able to record yourself performing songs and pieces youâre working on, from time to time. Recording yourself is an excellent way to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie; it will also help you to develop a critical and discerning ear.
When applicable, I like to use my studentâs favorite songs as a vehicle for learning crucial aspects of music study, which include music theory, scales, chords, arpeggios and of course, proper technique. I also like to encourage and support sight-reading for very young students and have developed ways to make that fun, interesting and rewarding.
*** Studio Equipment ***
The studio has a keyboard, computer with music tutorial software, and guitars. The studio also has an ample supply of books, DVD, and transcription materials. The studio also has amps to be a working studio. The studio also has a nice seating area for parents.
*** Specialties ***
Guitar (beginning to advanced): Rock, Blues, Funk, Fusion, Jazz, acoustic finger-style, hybrid picking, cage system, tremolo bar technique, two handed tapping, speed picking, alternate and legato picking. I also teach beginning Flamenco.
I like to meet students were they are musically and build from there. Typically, I like to use a repertoire of songs that inspire them; using their favorite songs (when appropriate) as a means of learning theory, harmony, and technique. Over the years, I've learned that the most important first step with any student (specially beginners), is to get them playing right away - the emphasis is always on fostering love and enjoyment for music - as they move through proficiency levels at their own pace. Having said that, I do like to make sure they are pleasantly challenged but not frustrated (beginners), is to get them playing right away - the emphasis is always on fostering love and enjoyment for music - as they move through proficiency levels at their own pace. Having said that, I do like to make sure they are pleasantly challenged but not frustrated.